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The Axis Of Destruction And Hope


#1

The Axis Of Destruction And Hope

Bill McKibben
If you want to understand the climate crisis today, you need to journey roughly along the 95th parallel, from Louisiana in the south to the the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas.


#2

What happens to these pipelines during such catastrophic floods? Surely even if they are drained ahead of time which seems dubious considering the flooding is unpredictable in places, they still must get weakened and their ground support weakened as well.

In an age of continuing mega floods, pipelines carrying oil seem archaic. Old fashioned technology and greed being given an extension of life for a few more decades but at such phenomenal cost and risk to the future. We do not need this oil. We need this money to be used to erect wind turbines and solar plants.

The old fashioned robber baron greed we see displayed here is the lethal weapon pointed at our children 's future.


#3

I think this Dakota Access Pipeline should help end the "train bombs" carrying Bakken crude. We need more information on what the big picture is on this issue. Clearly we will need oil for cars, trucks, planes, and ships for some time so right now stopping oil production is not an option. What we need is quicker conversion to electric vehicles powered by clean energy. It appears that the technology for electric cars has now advances enough to really move faster on making this critical change.


#4

Are conservatives nature's instruments for killing off the human monoculture? Of bringing back a population balance and species diversity?


#5

Another type of war crime to pin on Obama.


#6

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.
So shut the F up!


#8

Draining a shallow-buried pipeline would make it float, and guarantee it breaks.


#9

We need to - as fast as possible - get rid of cars. The automobile has always been a artificial need manufactured by the capitalists. Get rid of suburbia, build up public transit, and the need for a car goes away.

Until my job forced me to the suburbs I lived car free (except for occasional outdoor recreational outings) in an urban neighborhood and it was the best standard of living I ever enjoyed. I still only use a car a couple times a month. I only considered a homes that are a short walk to essential shopping and a frequent bus route. A electric motor scooter (uses a tiny fraction of the resources of an electric car) fills in the rest of the transportation needs. Yes, I an full-time employed.

Anyone can do this.


#10

While the locals complain a lot about it, the public transit service in Toronto is a dream compared to any US city - maybe even New York. And it is being improved by leaps and bounds. I recently took a far ranging brewpub crawl across the whole city and never had to wait more than four minutes for a bus, streetcar or subway train.

But yes, China's public transportation infrastructure - and their aggressive schedule to a zero-carbon electrical infrastructure (hydro, nuclear, wind) is positively Star-Trek compared to the backward US - Most of it's high speed rail was built in less than 20 years.

In times of crisis, Democratic deliberation can be a real liability. When the CPC decides to build a new high speed rail line, anyone screaming: "My taxes! my taxes! Tax and spend socialists! Tax and spend socialists!" or NIMBY! NIMBY! would simply get arrested and told by a judge to shut up or go to prison.


#11

That quote by Karl Rove at the peak of the GW Bush era is an absolute historical classic and must not be allowed to die. Nothing ever quoted - gong back to the earliest times of written language comes close to capturing the essence of arrogant hubris of that certain minority of power-hungry individuals who have visited so much sorrow on our species.


#12

Wasn't that the unindicted conspirator Rove?


#13

While I generally agree that electric cars are not an answer - it is not because of disposal problems with the batteries. Lithium batteries from retired cars almost always have at least 70% capacity and can be re-purposed for stationary electric storage. And when they are eventually discarded, most of the battery materials are recyclable and lithium cell active materials (lithium salts, metal phosphate, carbon, simple alcohol-like solvents) are non-toxic.

BTW virtually 100% of every lead acid car battery is recycled. There is a mature and profitable industry in the US built around recycling them.

The main reason that electric cars are not the solution is because:

  1. The car itself and the associated walking-and-transit-hostile sprawling suburban infrastructure required to make the car usable at all in any kind of population center has enormously negative effects due to the destruction of neighborhood and community solidarity, and extreme social atomization that the car causes.

  2. The car is a breathtakingly space, resource and energy inefficient means of moving poeple - only a capitalist could have dreamt of such an inefficient (and therefore lucrative) thing. What is there in something weighing 2 tons to move a single 80kg occupant that does not scream "Absurd!"?

The car has GOT to go!


#14

That's an optimistic outlook, a human die off that will allow biological nature to reevolve into balanced ecosystems. Pessimists say that the chemical changes being made are sufficient to destroy all life forms that use oxygen. No one knows which point of view is right, and neither sounds pleasant for humans whatever their "greenness" and extent of good heartedness to undergo as the transition goes from this to whatever comes next.


#15

The Lakota, Yanktonai and Dakota suffered the theft of fertile homelands and there was war. Africans suffered the theft of their own bodies until the conclusion of the deadliest war America ever knew. I am afraid that the fossilocracry is just as invested as "slaveocracy" once was and we'll face a new Battle of Gettysburg if this old order keeps on taking. WW2, the Civil War, the Dakota War, etc. -all failures of politics with dire results and important lessons now. Ghandi, where are you?


#16

Technical correction. Bill means the 95th meridian, not parallel. Parallels go east-west around the globe, meridians run south-north from pole to pole.


#17

You came soo close to saying it, but fracking is pouring noxious chemicals into the air and water and contributing to climate change even more than the burning of fuel alone. A few things I'd like to point out about the pipeline itself:
1) trains spilled very few gallons of crude oil for 4 decades, until restrictions were lifted on the number of tankers/train and on max speed. In addition,we need to invest money into repairing tracks across the nation, as most have seen cuts in DOT spending. 2) the horrific crash in Quebec was a train speeding on auto pilot downhill. This is a huge safety issue that might have been avoided. 3) the company is pushing for this pipeline now they can sell oil on the overseas market after that ban was lifted in Dec. 2015. 4)Pipeline detection technology failed in South Dakota on the Keystone pipeline, spilling in excess of 18,000 gallons before the spill was discovered by a farmer. This occurred just last March, 2016 5) Pipelines are known to leach benzene and methane in the form of a noxious and cancerous gas that settles back onto land and water. This phenomenon has been measured and recorded in Houston. 6) No environmental impact study has been completed on this pipeline and pipelines of this magnitude have never been bored under rivers as wide and turbulent as the Missouri and the Mississippi, and this pipeline will go under those rivers, plus the Des Moines, the upper and lower Skunk, the Illinois, and many other lakes, streams and watersheds, and the aquifers therein. Entire regions in the midwest and downstream are potentially threatened. Keokuk, Iowa, for example would have to shut off it's water intake within an hour if a spill occurred on the Mississippi where this is slated to pass. There is no water source 'backup'. Businesses would have to shut down as well. I have not even gotten into to the eminent domain abuse issues. Many century farmers are concerned for their top soil being damaged and their property values being reduced, and for crop damage. They have been bullied relentlessly by the company to sign over easements against their will and judgement and have been threatened with eminent domain.


#18

Wow! How insightful! LIke, news from nowhere, it makes little sense. But keep talking....silence isn't golden, and we do learn from even the mouths of idiots.


#19

Turd Blosson quote.


#20

Bill is right. Those of us who know what native people have endured as Western 'values' swept over North America, those of us who've grown tired of New Age appropriations of so called indigenous spirituality, and white liberal talky-talk about better relationships with indigenous people.....should consider joining them.

We don't know what will replace the fossil fuel empires we've cobbled together by stealing native lands and resources, but we should be realizing by now that more of the same is going to spell disaster for all of us.

Let's go native; stand with our indigenous communities;learn courage and commitment from them; experience what it means to actually love the land, cherish wild places and see other life forms as our relations.

And right now: join the people at Standing Rock; send money; write letters, call your poltical representatives. And Pay Attention: People can only be found in what they do.